Why do bananas give me heartburn? If you’ve ever eaten a banana and then felt an intense burning sensation in your chest, you’re not alone. Up to 50% of people experience heartburn after eating bananas.
What is heartburn, anyway? And why do so many people get it after eating bananas?
Heartburn is a common term for the burning sensation that sometimes occurs in the chest after eating.
The leading cause of heartburn is when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Bananas are a high-acid fruit that can aggravate this condition in some people.
What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the contents of the stomach flow back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms.
It is an intestinal condition that affects approximately 27.8% of adults in the United States.
The condition is also known as acid reflux and can be caused by several factors, including diet, lifestyle, and anatomy.
Many things can trigger GERD symptoms, but the most common is eating certain foods.
Why do bananas give me heartburn?
Experts believe that it has to do with the fact that bananas contain tiny particles that can slip through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.
When this happens, your body perceives the particles as a threat and sends out antibodies to fight them.
That can cause an inflammatory reaction in the body so that you might experience heartburn.
Eating bananas is also thought to trigger heartburn because they are acidic.
That means that they can contribute to the production of stomach acid, which can, in turn, lead to heartburn.
The good news is that this is usually not a long-term problem, and you can still enjoy bananas as part of a healthy diet.
Ripe bananas are less likely to cause heartburn, so it’s best to wait until they are yellow with brown spots before eating raw bananas. You can also try cooking bananas, which makes them easier to digest.
Just be sure to listen to your body and stop eating if you start to experience chronic acid reflux symptoms.
You can eat bananas as part of a healthy diet, but it’s best to avoid them if you find that they trigger your heartburn. There are plenty of other delicious and nutritious fruits to enjoy!
Other foods that cause heartburn
Other foods that can cause heartburn include:
Why do spicy foods give me heartburn? The answer has to do with the fact that spicy foods can trigger a release of stomach acid.
When this acid comes into contact with the sensitive lining of the esophagus, it causes irritation and pain. In addition, spicy foods can also cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus.
So next time you’re looking for a bit of flavor in your food, go easy on the hot sauce!
Chocolate contains a compound called cacao, a natural source of acid. In addition, chocolate is often high in fat, triggering heartburn.
When chocolate is combined with other acidic foods, such as coffee or citrus fruit, it can intensify the effects of heartburn.
For people susceptible to heartburn, it is best to avoid chocolate or eat it in moderation.
If you experience heartburn after eating chocolate, several over-the-counter remedies can help relieve the discomfort.
Caffeine is a stimulant that speeds up the production of stomach acid. People with preexisting digestive issues can cause the stomach acid to back up into the esophagus, leading to heartburn. In addition, caffeine can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which helps to keep stomach acid in its place.
Stomach acid is more likely to escape and cause irritation when this happens.
If you’re prone to heartburn, limiting your caffeine intake may help to reduce your symptoms.
Alcohol can trigger heartburn for several reasons. First, alcohol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.
In addition, alcohol stimulates the production of stomach acid.
People with preexisting digestive issues can cause the stomach acid to back up into the esophagus, leading to heartburn.
If you experience heartburn after drinking alcohol, it is best to limit your intake or avoid it altogether.
Greasy and fatty foods
Fatty and greasy foods can trigger heartburn for several reasons. First, these foods can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus.
In addition, greasy and fatty foods can slow down the production of digestive enzymes, leading to an increase in stomach acid.
Finally, these foods can also coat the esophagus lining, making it more difficult for stomach acid to be cleared away.
If you experience heartburn after eating greasy or fatty foods, limiting your intake or avoiding these foods altogether is best.
Acidic fruits and vegetables
citrus fruits, tomatoes, and onions are all examples of acidic fruits and vegetables. These foods can trigger heartburn for several reasons.
First, they can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.
In addition, acidic fruits and vegetables can stimulate the production of stomach acid.
Eating mildly acidic fruit might induce heartburn if your stomach is sensitive to acidic foods.
If you experience heartburn after eating acidic fruits or vegetables, limiting your intake or avoiding these foods altogether is best.
Dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, can trigger heartburn. First, they can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.
In addition, dairy products can coat the esophagus lining, making it more difficult for stomach acid to be cleared away.
Finally, dairy products can also stimulate the production of stomach acid.
If you experience heartburn after eating dairy products, limiting your intake or avoiding these foods altogether is best.
Carbonated beverages can trigger heartburn for several reasons. First, they can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.
In addition, carbonated beverages can stimulate the production of stomach acid.
Finally, carbonated beverages can also coat the esophagus lining, making it more difficult for stomach acid to be cleared away.
If you experience heartburn after drinking carbonated beverages, limiting your intake or avoiding these drinks altogether is best.
Ways to prevent or reduce heartburn
Ways to prevent or relieve heartburn include:
Eating smaller meals
Heartburn is a common problem that can be caused by various factors, including overeating, pregnancy, and certain types of medication.
Thankfully, there are several ways to prevent or reduce heartburn.
A straightforward method is to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day.
That allows the stomach to digest food more slowly and reduces the chance of acid reflux.
Avoiding trigger foods
Another way to prevent heartburn is to avoid trigger foods and beverages, such as spicy dishes, fatty foods, citrus fruits, and caffeinated drinks.
If you are unsure of what trigger foods may be causing your heartburn, keeping a food diary can be helpful.
Try over-the-counter medications
Additionally, people who suffer from heartburn can try over-the-counter medications, such as antacids or acid blockers.
These medications work by neutralizing stomach acid or preventing its production.
If over-the-counter medications are not effective, prescription medications may be necessary.
Make lifestyle changes
Specific lifestyle changes can also help reduce the occurrence of heartburn.
For instance, losing weight, quitting smoking, and elevating the head of the bed can all help reduce the risk of heartburn.
Not eating close to bedtime
One final way to help reduce heartburn is to avoid eating close to bedtime.
That gives the stomach time to digest food before lying down, minimizing the chance of acid reflux.
People who experience heartburn at night may also benefit from sleeping with their heads elevated.
If you experience heartburn regularly, it is best to speak with a doctor to find the underlying cause and determine the best course of treatment.
The bottom line
Bananas are a great source of dietary potassium, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and biotin. However, they can also be a source of heartburn for some people.
If you experience heartburn after eating bananas on an empty stomach, you can do a few things to help reduce the symptoms.
- First, try eating smaller portions of banana or switching to a smaller variety like the Cavendish banana.
- Second, eat your banana with other foods that contain fat or protein, which will help slow down digestion and prevent the stomach from producing too much acid.
- Finally, if you still have problems after trying these tips, talk to your doctor about medications or other treatments that can help relieve your heartburn symptoms. For example, have you ever experienced heartburn after eating a banana?
DISCLAIMER: buildyourbody.org does not provide medical advice, examination, or diagnosis.
Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.